Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
From Sea to Shining Sea
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 2: "The Land and the First Americans"
This unit will focus on three Native American groups and how they used and respected the land. Your child will learn about the Kwakiutl, from the northwest coast of North America; the Cheyenne, from the American prairies; and the Navajo, from the southwest desert.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 4 By the Shining Sea
- Help your child look up information on any Native Americans that lived or still live in your area. Have your child compare the way this group may have lived before Europeans settled with the way we live today.
- Using paper towel rolls, scrap paper, and marking pens, work with your child to make a family totem pole. A totem pole tells about important events in a family's life, so design symbols to represent key events in the history of your household. Have your child present the pole to other family members, and explain the meaning of each symbol.
- Encourage your child to read a book about one of California's important resources like forests, or about important minerals like copper.
Chapter 5 Over Waves of Grass
- Have your child make a list of items in your home that are made from cows, including both leather and beef products. Then have him or her make a second list of the ways the Cheyenne used the buffalo in the past. Discuss the similarities and differences of the two lists.
Chapter 6 In Red Rock Country
- At the library, find picture books showing the jewelry, rugs, and other crafts made by the Navajo and other Native Americans from southwestern United States. Have your child tell you what natural resources the Navajo used to make these different items.
- Look at a map of your community or state. Help your child find names of cities, lakes, rivers, streets, and other features that have Native American names. Have him or her look up the meaning of each place name.
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